A general blog entry

Nana, this one is for you.

In little over 2 hours from now I'll walk into a lecture theatre holding little more than 2 ball-point pens and a calculator for the last time in what has been a three-and-a-half year voyage of rediscovery, fun, learning, stress and joy.

Using SESSION with Google App Engine and Python 2.7

So recently I was lucky enough to be part of a Google training session at Canterbury University, where Google Engineer James McGill gave a hands-on workshop on using Google App Engine with Python (2.7)  It opened a whole new avenue of web development to me, and I was able to use it to succesfully complete an assignment just a few weeks later.

Using WGET to download or back up an entire website

Simple to do with Linux from the command line.  This will make a folder with the name of the site, and download all the content it can access into that folder.

wget -c -r -k -U Mozilla

-c skips any existing files already downloaded (handy if you're resuming after only downloading half the content)

-r downloads the whole site (recursive)

-k converts the links to local links so they will work if you click on them from the folder on your computer

Gimp 2.8 "Save As" is now only for .XCF - WTF?!

Ok, so I recently installed a new drive in my development PC, and as part of the rebuild I downloaded and installed the new Gimp 2.8.  I then tried using it for a simple task - I just needed to resize a photograph.  A dead-easy task in Gimp: just resize it, and choose 'Save As' to give it a new filename... it came up with the .XCF extension - that was a little annoying but no worries - I just changed it to JPG and hit "Save"... only to be confronted with a dialog box telling me I could only use "Save As" to save as the .XCF extension.  WTF!?!?!

LC Meter using a PIC16F628A

Due to the number of coils I've been winding for crystal sets, I needed an inductance meter to measure them and make sure the theoretical values I was coming up with were within the rough area of reality.  I looked around at commercial meters and gave up - being a student at the moment means I didn't have the funds.

Then I stumbled across the LC meter built by Phil Rice:

First Play with a 16x2 LCD with HD44780 Controller and a PIC Micro

I've been playing with PIC microcontrollers for a while now - I started because I wanted an inductance meter to measure coils for the crystal sets I am making... and googling led me to this circuit, which seemed fairly simple... and from there I fell headlong into microcontrollers.

PIC24F - Downloading Programming Executive...FAILED!

I've been playing with PIC micros for a while... 8-bit 16F628A's mainly.  But recently I found myself with a PIC24FJ64GB002 and an idea... so I started by throwing it at my PICKIT2 programmer... and got the following message:

Take care when ordering Android Tablets from China...

This is a warning to those who see cheap tablets imported from China as an alternative to buying from a local supplier.

Installing an Ainol Novo 7 Paladin Tablet in Linux (Ubuntu)

I recently got one of these, and I love it.  But I'm doing some Grails development in Windows, for which I needed Java 7, 64-bit - so I've taken to doing my Android development in Linux.

While trying to install the tablet in Linux I came up against something I hadn't seen before... abd devices gave me the following output:

Fail2Ban - blocking brute force attacks against Dovecot

Recently I noticed an absolute deluge of failed logins to Dovecot, thousands of attempts - here is a small snippet: